USMNT Camp Part Deuce: Predicting the Next 13

With the furor surrounding Wednesday’s partial roster announcement and the implications surrounding Chandler-gate starting to finally subside a bit, we figured this Friday evening would be a great time to dig out the crystal ball and try to take a stab at the baker’s dozen of USMNTers Klinsmerica will be calling on this Sunday.

To recap, the Orlando camp began with the following 16 deplaning into The City Beautiful:

GOALKEEPERS (3): Brad Guzan (Aston Villa), Tim Howard (Everton), Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake)

DEFENDERS (4): Carlos Bocanegra (Rangers), Edgar Castillo (Club Tijuana), Steve Cherundolo (Hannover), Alfredo Morales (Hertha Berlin)
MIDFIELDERS (8): Kyle Beckerman (Real Salt Lake), Michael Bradley (Chievo Verona), Joe Corona (Club Tijuana), Maurice Edu (Rangers), Fabian Johnson (Hoffenheim), Jermaine Jones (Schalke 04), Jose Torres (Pachuca), Danny Williams (Hoffenheim)
FORWARDS (1): Clint Dempsey (Fulham)

With 3 keepers already in camp, the final 13 will be dispersed among the outfield positions, more than likely to be slanted towards defense and forward considering a majority (8) of the midfielders have already been called.

Let’s begin in the back and work our way forward up the park:

Defense

1.  Oguchi Onyewu – The hulking center half has unfinished business with Sporting Lisbon – the Portuguese Cup final is this Sunday & Gooch figures to assume a starting role.  Not much will change when he comes home; a healthy Gooch is a lock to start outright next to Bocanegra

2.  Eric Lichaj – One man’s snub is another man’s gain.  With Chandler out of the picture indefinitely, Lichaj is in pole position to assume the mantle of Steve Cherundolo’s heir apparent.

The young full back has made a habit of taking advantage of opportunities when they present themselves this season as he was able to feature prominently for Aston Villa when injures opened up the left back spot for the taking.  Capable on either the left or right, everything seems to be falling into place for Lichaj to play a major role for the Stars & Stripes this World Cup cycle.

3.  Clarence Goodson – While having a drop off season with Brondby in Denmark, Goodson has shown well for his country when called upon – Goodson started in the historic win in Genoa against Italy back in February and provides invaluable center back depth.

4.  Michael Parkhurst – While Goodson’s Danish club is struggling, Parkhust’s tiny F.C. Nordsjælland is threatening to topple Copenhagen in a thrilling Danish Superliga race.  The former New England Revolution man has played a large role in that and will come into camp in fine form and able to slot in at center of defense, right back or even defensive midfield

5.  Geoff Cameron – Cameron’s wonderful showing during Camp Cupcake in January did not translate into a hot start with Houston in MLS as an extended road trip in anticipation of the opening of BBVA Stadium has mired the Dynamo in mid table mediocrity.  However, that stadium has since opened and the Dynamo back line has looked stouter and more effective with Cameron featuring in the middle.

6.  Tim Ream – Bolton has fallen victim to the drop but Tim Ream has found his legs in the North of England.  Concerns about his ability to adapt to the blistering pace of English football abounded when the transfer from New York happened but Ream has kept his head above water and his international career will be all the better for it.

Midfield

1.  Landon Donovan – Los Angeles has been poor and Donovan hasn’t lit the world on fire this season but he’s still Landon Donovan and it’s been much too long since we’ve seen Donovan & Dempsey on the field together.

2.  Brek Shea – The spectacularly coiffed Shea is struggling to find his game this season but seems to have gained the full confidence of Klinsmann – starting for the USMNT when it may have been arguable there were better options available.  Like Lichaj, Shea benefits from Chandler’s choice in that an extra available winger spot makes his inclusion more logical.  With a lukewarm MLS campaign and Olympic qualifying calamities, 2012 hasn’t been kind to Brek – qualifying offers redemption.

3.  DaMarcus Beasley – After a shiftless 6 years of club ball, one of the heroes of South Korea has found his form again in the Mexican 1st division.  With Sacha Kljestan apparently (undeservedly) excluded and on vacation in New York, we feel Klinsmann will overcompensate with versatile wingers and bring the pacy World Cup veteran in for a look.

Forward

1.  Jozy Altidore – Jozy has never played more European matches or scored more goals – the maligned 22 year old has been weighed down by familiar and unrealistic expectations many young American soccer prodigies are saddled with.  Altidore’s hold up play has never been better and his finishing has been clinical.  The United States dodged a major bullet when concussion tests came back negative after a nasty collision with a cement wall during a late season Eredivise match.

2.  Herculez Gomez – First, a mea culpa from us here at In Towards McBride – in our initial roster reaction piece we noted Gomez not being included along with other Mexican Primera call ups such as Joe Corona & Edgar Castillo thus assuming Gomez had been passed over yet again despite turning in a career season at Santos Laguna.  What we failed to mention is that Herc is still South of the border playing for the 2012 Clausura in the final against Monterrey.

While the possibility still exists of Gomez being passed over, most indications by writers more in the know than we suggest we’ll be seeing US Soccer’s prodigal son in Orlando next week.

3.  Chris Wondolowski – Late bloomer, California native, scores bags of goals at the domestic level but hasn’t been able to translate that success to the international stage but looks to finally be getting his chance in meaningful games.  There’s a reason we call him the Polish Gomez.

4.  Terrance Boyd – Klinsmann has been taken with the Borussia Dortmund starlet for some time, even giving him mop up minutes against Italy in February.  However this inclusion may indicate a bit of desperation by Soccer House to avoid another Chandler debacle seeing as Boyd is also a dual German American national.

With these call ups, the Orlando camp pool would look something like this:

GOALKEEPERS (3): Brad Guzan (Aston Villa), Tim Howard (Everton), Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake)

DEFENDERS (10): Carlos Bocanegra (Rangers), Edgar Castillo (Club Tijuana), Steve Cherundolo (Hannover), Alfredo Morales (Hertha Berlin), Oguchi Onyewu (Sporting Lisbon), Geoff Cameron (Houston Dynamo), Tim Ream (Bolton Wanderers), Eric Lichaj (Aston Villa), Clarence Goodson (Brondby IF), Michael Parkhurst (F.C. Nordsjælland)

MIDFIELDERS (11): Kyle Beckerman (Real Salt Lake), Michael Bradley (Chievo Verona), Joe Corona (Club Tijuana), Maurice Edu (Rangers), Fabian Johnson (Hoffenheim), Jermaine Jones (Schalke 04), Jose Torres (Pachuca), Danny Williams (Hoffenheim), Landon Donovan (Los Angeles Galaxy), Brek Shea (FC Dallas), DaMarcus Beasley (Puebla F.C.)

FORWARDS (5): Clint Dempsey (Fulham), Herculez Gomez (Santos Laguna), Chris Wondolowski (San Jose Earthquakes), Terrance Boyd (Borussia Dortmund), Jozy Altidore (AZ Alkmaar)

Stay with us through the weekend as we bring you more from USMNT training camp in Orlando and break down Klinsmann’s options through next week in the build up to USA v. Scotland.

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